Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Unexpected Finds

You know how sometimes you go into a store you never go to or haven't been in for a while and you wonder why you never go? Well I had just that experience on Monday at good 'ol Kmart. Now don't get me wrong, I know there's not much that would compel you to go into a Kmart when Targets and Walmarts abound but I'm here to say just give them a chance. I've been looking for seat cushions for our new dining room chairs and after doing a little Googling I saw that Kmart actually carried a couple cute options so I made the journey to a store I never go to.

When I got there I saw that the couple cushions I liked online weren't in stock (of course...) but since I was there already I wandered the aisles for a bit and came across quite a few things that came thisclose to coming home with me.

Lovely cream and tan dinner/salad plates

Cute blue patterned bowls that would match very nicely with my collection of blue patterned bowls. 
At $4 each though I passed them up.

I literally picked up those blue plates about three times and subsequently put them back since I really don't need more salad plates. For the price I didn't know if I could resist ($3.50!!) but somehow I did.

I really liked these burlap and maroon pillows... well as these sunny yellow outdoor ones.

And last but not least some cute grain sack napkins and placemats. If we had any semblance of a country theme in our house they would've been mine but alas, I'm just not a country girl. I thought seriously about turning the napkins into pillows (after hiding the chickens) and putting them out around Christmastime but then I realized that was just a bit crazy to be thinking that far ahead.

So even though I left empty-handed I gained a little more respect for the store I never even gave a second thought. Now I just might make it a point to go there more often and check out what other deals I might find.

Happy Leap Day!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Magazine Storage

I only subscribe to two magazines, House Beautiful and Better Homes and Gardens, but thanks to my mom I also get This Old House. Now between those and other various catalogues that come in the mail that I treat just the same (Dwell Studio, Farrow and Ball, Ikea) we have quite the little collection at all times.

Before I used to keep most of my magazines in a tray on one of our ottomans:

The rest wound up in one of the drawers of our TV console. I knew I needed a better storage solution so I shopped our basement and found this old soda box from who-knows-where and thought it'd be perfect. Now we can keep them "stored" in the open and the box even helps conceal a few TV wires. Double score.

The ottoman now holds just a couple of the most current issues for a much cleaner look.

The rest fit perfectly in the box and under the console.

Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Birds of a Feather

I wanted to add a little bit of fun, modern art to the dressing room so what did I do? I put a bird on it.

Make that two birds. I found these guys at a thrift store (actually the same place I bought the dresser) for about two bucks each and let me tell you, they didn't exactly scream "Buy Me!" when I found them. Actually they screamed, "Who would do this to us and won't you kindly put us out of our misery?" So I happily scooped them up and gave them a new life with a couple coats of high gloss white.

Here's how they looked before:

And now:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

DIY Upholstered Ottomans

After declaring our living room "Browntown" back in November I have been making pointed attempts at banishing dark colors from the room in lieu of lighter ones.  Granted the lighting was poor in this picture, but here's where we started:

One of the best changes has been to swap out the brown TV console for a lighter off-white version.

Then I added the pale blue-gray curtains hung nice and high to give the room some cozy softness while still keeping things light.

But there was still one more black hole that kept bugging me and foiling my attempts. Or rather, I should say two black holes.

Yup. It's those ottomans that I got for Christmas two years ago. Now don't get me wrong, they worked in our old apartment and I even gave them a little love with some nailhead trim but the black was just not working for me anymore. Since buying all new ones was definitely not in our budget or even necessary I went in search of some lighter fabric to re-cover them with. I knew I didn't want another pattern since the area rug is chock full of it so a neutral was in order. I was at the thrift store on Saturday just browsing when I wandered into the bedding section and found a single King-sized sheet in a great linen-y color. At six bucks I knew I couldn't beat the price and after having luck with using bedsheets before, I got right to work.

I don't have much of a step-by-step to show you but basically I laid out the fabric and cut just enough so it wrapped around but didn't overlap. I did this twice because the black still showed through the material with only one layer so I simply wrapped it once more.

I used the hem of the sheet to my advantage and made it into my side-seam on the ottomans. All in all this only took a couple hours and more than a couple rows of staples but the finished product was worth every minute.

And in case you're wondering, the edges look this:

And they've definitely succeeded at making the (slightly out-of-order and messy) living room much brighter!

Monday, February 20, 2012

New Dining Room Chairs

Our white dining chairs may have seemed okay from afar:

But after unfortunately being left outside during the majority of our renovations, the paint has been chipping and peeling non-stop ever since being brought back inside. So now they look more like this:

They were also never the strongest chairs and wobbled something terrible, one is even completely broken and banished to a corner of the room. So of course I went on the hunt for new chairs and found a great set of six for only fifty bucks. Gotta love Craigslist.

Metal chairs were never really something I considered before but after seeing these beauties I knew they would be great. I love how they're not at all bulky and don't close off the space but rather keep things light and airy. We still need to find cushions for them but I just had to show you.

 My Valentine's Day roses

And if you're wondering where the other two are, they're sitting pretty in our living room. See we have a Bible study here every Wednesday night so extra seating is a necessity. Now I don't have to worry about cleaning up chipped paint every Wednesday night! A couple of pillows from our couch will do the trick until we can get some cushions.

Anyone in need of some free firewood?

Friday, February 17, 2012

More Dressing Room Progress

I'm sure you all have seen the use of the infamous ceramic egg crate across blogdom to corral everything from jewelry to craft and office supplies. If you haven't, check out these on Pinterest or these on Google. Well I've always been a fan but I'm also a cheapskate so when I saw these cute plastic egg crates at Michael's for about three bucks I knew this was my time.

The purple was sweet but not what I was looking for so after a little help from some white spray paint my crate was ready for use in my dressing room.

I also brought in my urchin lamp from our bedroom because I thought it looked better in here and just replaced it with another we weren't using.

My pink glass collection now has a place to be displayed on my campaign dresser.

I used a little lot of Brasso to really shine up the hardware and it looks great.

Then last night Dan helped me hang my mirror finally.
I love how it opened up the space immediately. I think one day I'd like to replace it with something even bigger.

And you can see that I'm trying out options to hide the back storage space. This one is definitely not the final option but it works until I figure something out.

Above the mirror is a very vanity-esque light fixture that will stay:

But the ceiling "pod" needs to go. A chandelier is in order.

I still need to touch up paint on the walls and repaint the ceiling and hopefully that will happen soon. Then we need to trim out the baseboards, address the windows, and find a nice pretty rug. Overall though the room's coming along nicely if I do say so myself. I am loving all the extra storage in the dresser and have already filled every drawer!

Happy Friday everyone.
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